Skiers & Snowboarders are Susceptible to Sports Hernias
When you play hockey, run, dance, or swim, you’re at risk of suffering a sports hernia injury. Each of these activities includes the fast twisting and turning movements that are responsible for most sports hernias. But just because your sport of choice doesn’t involve the obvious culprits, doesn’t mean you’re safe from sports hernias.
Sudden changes in direction, quick shifting of weight, and rapid movements contribute to sports hernia injuries too. Sound familiar to you snowboarders and skiers?
When swooshing down a slope on skis, added strain is placed on your core to maintain balance. The lower abdominal muscles have to work harder to keep you upright when gravity is pulling you down. The more stress is placed on your lower core and groin area, the higher the risk that you might sustain a sports hernia injury.
Snowboarding requires many of the same types of movements as skiing. There’s less danger of pulling individual groin muscles while your feet are buckled into a board. However, significant core strength is required to maintain balance – and without it, you could find yourself wiping out. Shifting weight and making sharp turns is part of snowboarding as well. Each of these movement patterns is a risk factor for sports hernias, so it’s essential to take steps to minimize your risk for injury.
Recognizing a sports hernia is difficult. They’re often hard for even doctors to diagnose, and have many non-specific and hard-to-describe symptoms. Athletes who have suffered a sports hernia usually feel pain in the affected area. While the pain may subside with rest, it will come back with a return to activity. Sometimes a small bulge may show, but in most cases there is no outwardly visible marker of injury.
So what can you do to prevent suffering a sports hernia on the slopes? The same keys to preventing other injuries – stretching, nutrition, awareness – apply. There are many exercises that you can do to increase flexibility. That in turn will help your muscles handle and rebound from stress more easily. Diet plays a key role in making sure your body is performing at the necessary level to support an active lifestyle. Finally, being aware of the causes and symptoms of sports hernia injury can give you a way to watch for the warning signs.
Sports hernias happen to athletes in every sport, yes, even those who ski or snowboard.